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UT hosts events for Prison Awareness Week

Bringing prisons out of the shadows and into the public eye is the mission of Prison Awareness Week, which will take place at The University of Toledo Monday through Saturday, April 8-13.

The UT efforts are part of a larger coalition, Toledoans for Prison Awareness, whose members include the American Civil Liberties Union (Northwest Ohio chapter), Lucas County Libertarian Party and Move to Amend Toledo.

Each day of Prison Awareness Week has a different educational focus, with literature and displays in the Student Union from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and events scheduled for the afternoon or evening.

Listed by date, themes and events will include:

Monday, April 8: Facts and Faces of America’s Prisons

  • Filmmaker Derrick A. Jones will show his documentary, “The Great Incarcerator, Part 1: Dark Little Secret,” at 4:30 p.m. in Student Union Room 2591.
  • Ben Turk of the Red Bird Prison Abolition Project will talk about how the volunteer group in Columbus, Ohio, wants the prison system to end. He will speak at 6 p.m. in Student Union Room 2591.

Tuesday, April 9: Drug Policy, Civil Rights and Prisons

  • Rob Salem, UT clinical law professor, will discuss “Civil Rights, Public Health and Prisons” at 4:30 p.m. in Student Union Room 2591.
  • Howard Rahtz, retired Cincinnati police officer who is with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, will address “Why Some Cops Say Legalize Drugs” at 7 p.m. in the Law Center McQuade Auditorium.

Wednesday, April 10: Women & Families Behind Prison Walls

  • Mary Dwyer and Joe Clark, longtime volunteers at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio, will talk about “Marysville: Women’s Prisons, Women’s Issues” at 4:30 p.m. in Student Union Room 2591.
  • “Support Networks for Families of the Incarcerated” will be discussed by Joyce Pierce of Families Behind Bars, Germaine Kirk of the Catholic Charities Toledo Diocese and former inmate Rob Hatcher at 6:30 p.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Church 2770 W. Central Ave., Toledo.

Thursday, April 11: Voices From Prison

  • Dr. Peter Linebaugh, UT professor of history, will talk with Lucasville “survivors” Ishaq Alkhair and Abdush Shakur at 4:30 p.m. in Student Union Room 2582.

Friday, April 12: Conference

  • “The Prison System: At Large and at Home” in Libbey Hall. The conference begins with a panel discussion at 10 a.m. About “The Prison System at Large” and continues with a “The Prison System at Home” roundtable at 1 p.m. and a panel discussion on “Healing and Hope” at 3:15 p.m.

Saturday, April 13: “Inside/Out: Breaking Down the Walls That Divide”

  • Program inside Toledo Correctional Institution that begins at 10 a.m. Learn about education and the prison population, including the Inside/Out Program, where college students learn alongside incarcerated students.Anyone hoping to attend the session must email by Wednesday, April 10, to gain entry to the prison.

The Prison Awareness Week events are sponsored and planned by the UT School for Interdisciplinary Studies; departments of History, Criminal Justice and Social Work, Philosophy and Religious Studies; UT Inside/Out Prison Exchange Program; Phi Alpha Theta history honor society; UT Libertarians; and UT Program in Law and Social Thought.

For more information go to or contact Dr. Cynthia Ingham, UT assistant professor of history, at

Media Coverage
The Blade (April 8, 2013)
The Blade (April 13, 2013)
13 ABC (April 16, 2013)

is UT's Director of University Communications. Contact her at 419.530.2410 or
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